Signal Analyzer
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Understanding noise source using a noise figure analyzer

Measuring and managing the noise floor of an RF circuit or device is an effective way to ensure an optimal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Noise is a fundamental aspect of electrical circuits and is caused by thermal generation. Understanding the sources of noise is crucial. For example, thermal noise, shot noise, or interference noise is a key parameter for predicting RF product performance and can adversely impact bit error rate (BER), latency, and throughput.

The noise figure of a device under test (DUT) is the degradation in the SNR as a signal passes through the DUT. Noise figure is measured using a noise figure analyzer which, in its most basic form, consists of a receiver with an accurate power detector and a circuit to power the noise source. The noise figure analyzer provides for excess noise ratio (ENR) entry and displays the resulting noise figure value corresponding to the frequency to which it is tuned. Internally, a noise figure analyzer computes the noise figure using the Y-factor method.

SNR measurement solution

SNR measurement solution

Achieving optimal signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) requires measurement and management of a device's noise floor. The Keysight NFA X-series noise figure analyzer, the Keysight PXIe vector signal analyzer, and the Keysight SNS series noise source work together to provide a solution for measuring SNR with a high level of accuracy and speed. By integrating Keysight TestExec SL software, you can automate testing in a manufacturing environment to improve efficiency and quality.

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